In which Leela hopes the Professor isn't dead and that Hermes is just covered in mud, Fry tries to remember what happened last night and why he doesn't want waffles, Amy tries to remember why shes naked and tied to a chair, and Fry and Leela go boating.
“That could have gone better,” Zoidberg said, pulling himself out from behind the wreckage of the driver’s control console.
“You think,” Bender said sarcastically after he pulled his head out of the sand that covered the front end of the bridge.
The plan had been, under the pretense of helping his ‘Master’ evade the Robot Mafia, to fly Bender to the Professor’s island and dump him there. He was going to tell Bender that he would pick him up tomorrow when they were leaving. In reality, he was going to tell the others that Bender had gotten involved with some shady characters and disappeared. He had hoped that the others would care as little about Bender as they cared about him, and that this would be the end of serving Bender.
The plan when wrong when he tried to hover the ship over the island and dump Bender down the boarding ramp. He lowered the ramp without issue, but when he tried to shift to ‘Neutral’ so he could hover, he shifted the wrong way, throwing the ship into ‘Reverse.’ In an attempt to correct this, he shifted into ‘Drive.’ The only problem was he was leaning over the steering yolk, pushing it forward. When the forward thrust engaged, the ship was pointed at the island. The ship spiked, nose-down, into the beach, shattering the window and filling the front quarter of the bridge with sand.
“Well, on the bright side, you’re not going to be found by the Robut Mafia,” Zoidberg said, sheepishly.
“Or anybody else thanks to you. Go get me a beer, Zoidberg. And make sure it’s cold!”
Sighing, Zoidberg said, “Yes, Master.”
Leela stumbled out of her room the next morning, noting that Amy’s bed hadn’t been slept in. She had gotten home pretty late after the blow up at the restaurant, but it was early compared to what she knew of Amy’s regular schedule.
After Fry left, she felt horrible. She had briefly considered running after him to apologize, but she rejected it. She wasn’t sure what the status of their relationship was, but she didn’t think that would have helped. He was right, as much as it pained her to admit it. He hadn’t done anything to attract that cow’s attention, and she overreacted. But the question now was what was she going to do about it? She supposed that she should apologize and offer to take him out to lunch or something.
She trudged out of her room and into the kitchen that their suite had to get some coffee. While it brewed, she noticed Hermes lying face down on the remains of the coffee table, covered in what she hoped was mud. She must have slept through his coming back last night, since he wasn’t lying there when she and Fry went to dinner, or when she came back later that night.
Looking around, she didn’t see signs of anyone else.
After grabbing her coffee, she wandered over to Fry and Bender’s room. It didn’t appear to have been slept in, either. Well, no more than when she and Fry had left for dinner last night. Worried, she walked through the rest of the suite, looking for any sign that any of her other co-workers were around. It was the same with Zoidberg and the Professor. She knew they came back from eating wherever they ate, but she didn’t find any sign of them in their room. She eventually found the Professor sleeping on the balcony, but there was still no sign of Zoidberg, Amy, Fry or Bender.
“Professor,” she said quietly as she shook him lightly. “Wakey wakey.”
“Zombie John the Baptist is here,” he muttered. “But the yao guai brisket is still hours away from being done…”
Growling a little, she tried a different approach. She got to within inches of his face and yelled, “Wake up, Professor!”
“Wha, who,” he yelled, head butting Leela as he sat up. Grabbing his head, he said, “Sweet Zombie Jesus, woman! Can’t a man take a nap without being yelled at? It’s like the last time I flew the ship. ‘Wake up, Professor!’ ‘You just blew a red light and nearly hit that space bus filled with orphan nuns with puppies, Professor!’ ‘You’re flying the wrong way, Professor!’ Bah, like any of you people knew where I was going! Why won’t you people just let a Professor rest his eyes in peace?”
Blinking her eye and shaking her head a little to clear it, Leela asked, “Where is everybody?”
“How the hell should I know,” the Professor snapped back. “I’m not their baby sitter. And if I am, you’re not paying me enough. Wait. That’s what I pay YOU for, among other things.”
“Professor,” she said, her patience razor thin, “what happened last night after Fry and I left?”
“After you and Fry left? Hermes came staggering back in at some point and after our dinner, Zoidberg went out and then came back and then left again, taking Bender, the keys to the ship and the information about that island I bought with him. I haven’t seen the idiot or the Amy.”
“Wait, go back,” Leela said.
“What? About Hermes? Well, he was rambling about finding two grains of sand that were exactly the same size and he had this kind of wacky odor wafting off of him. To be honest, it gave me a really good mellow… and the sudden desire to drink Slurm Extreme and eat Cool Ranch Doritos.”
“No, too far back. That thing you said about Zoidberg and Bender and the keys to the ship.”
“Oh, after Johnny and I came back from dinner, he went for a scuttle. He came back later and was excited about something. He said something about Bender and revenge. When Bender arrived, he took your keys and the data for the island I bought.”
“When was that, Professor?”
“Oh, last night some time. It was dark, I think. Then again, I could have been sleeping. Hermes’ presence was very soothing for some reason. It made me very sleepy,” he said, laying back down and closing his eyes. Soon, he was snoring softly again.
Leela growled as she stormed back into the suite, looking for her wrist-a-majigger. Hitting a few buttons, she called up the location of the ship. It pinged halfway around the world in the middle of an ocean in the northern hemisphere. According to the data she could access, it had been there for several hours. “The idiots crashed the ship,” she said, shaking her head. “When I get my hands on him, I’ll kill that crab. And, probably to a lesser extent, Bender, too. Now I just have to find Fry and Amy and go recover the ship. Why do all of our vacations end in disaster?”
Wherever he was, it was hot, bright, and getting uncomfortable.
He opened his eyes and regretted it immediately. It took all of half a second before he was up and screaming at whatever had gotten into his eyes and was grinding in there every time he blinked. It felt like pieces of glass had gotten under his eye lids. He flailed blindly for a few seconds before something grabbed him by the back of his shirt and his belt and threw him. He landed hard and got a face full of salt water. He stood up, and then nearly fell back in again while he was coughing up all the water. A strong hand on the back of his shirt kept him from going in face first.
“That should learn you to stay out all night,” Leela said, as she slapped him on the back. “It probably won’t, but it should.”
“What? Where? Who? When? Delores,” he said. At least, he thought he said those things. He wasn’t really sure with all of the coughing he was doing.
“You were laying face down on the beach and a group of tourists were starting to get a fire going to cook you.” Down the beach, a group of lizard people around a bonfire were glaring at Leela for stealing their breakfast.
“Oh, well that would explain the sand in my eyes,” he said after a little more coughing. “What are you doing here, Leela? Coming to check up on me and making sure I don’t have any non-platonic relationships?”
“You’re welcome,” she said dryly. “I’m here because I was worried when you didn’t come home last night. I was out looking for you, and then I saw you face down in the sand.”
“I can handle myself, Leela,” he snapped.
She just raised her eyebrow and looked back and forth between him and the bonfire down the beach. “Anyway,” she said, “I also need your help. Have you seen Amy?”
He was surprised. She didn’t yell at him like she usually did. “Not since yesterday. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen Bender or Zoidberg, either.”
“I know where those two idiots are, more or less,” she said. “They took the ship and crashed it into the Professor’s new island. But no one’s seen Amy since she went moved her car yesterday afternoon.”
“Did you –“
“Yes, I tried to call her on her cell phone telephone, several times, and she didn’t answer.”
“Have you tried-“
“I was doing that while I was out looking for you. I was heading into town to see what I could find out. Come on, I’ll even buy breakfast.” When he hesitated, she said, “Do it for Amy.”
Still wary from last night, he considered it and finally said, “OK. For Amy and for breakfast. Oh, and no waffles, OK? For some reason, I’m really not in the mood.”
They wandered for an hour before finding Amy’s car.
“The Onyx Pelican,” Fry said, staring at the building. “Well, it is local cuisine, and Amy did say she wanted to try the local food. She does have a barely controlled food lust.”
“Among her other barely controlled lusts,” Leela said. “When she said ‘local cuisine,’ I thought she meant the men, but I guess she could have meant the food.”
“Doesn’t look like they’re open,” Fry said, looking in the window.
“I see that, thanks,” Leela said, pulling the ‘Closed for Remodeling’ sign off the front door. “She’s got to be here somewhere. Let’s look around a little more.”
They searched around the building, but didn’t find anything to indicate that Amy had ever been there, other than her car. Defeated, they retreated down the block for breakfast and to plan their next move.
They sat in an awkward silence, only talking to give their orders to the waitress, a green skinned Heliodoran woman, wearing a tiny white bikini. The waitress spent a great deal of time taking Leela’s order, sitting down at the table with them. When it came to be Fry’s turn, she barely scribbled down what he wanted, and kept looking, almost leering, at Leela. “Wonder what that was about,” she muttered as the woman walked away. “And doesn’t anyone around here wear clothes?”
Leela looked around the outdoor space where they were seated, only occasionally glancing in Fry’s direction. She still felt bad about last night, but had no idea how to make it up to him. He must still be really mad at me, she thought. He won’t even look at me, and usually he just sits there and stares at me until I have to put a bag over his head.
For his part, Fry was unintentionally ignoring her. He had a pounding headache and was still trying to piece together what happened between walking out of the bar and waking up face down in the sand. He remembered being angry and hungry, but nothing else. There were flashes of syrup and fur, and something about a farm, but the rest was blank. Something like this normally wouldn’t bother him, and he wasn’t sure why this was. He was on vacation, and it wasn’t like he’d ever see any of these people again. And besides, it wasn’t the first time something had happened and he’d blacked out.
“Look, Fry,” Leela said after they had been eating a while. “I just want to…,” she stopped when he didn’t acknowledge her. “Earth to Fry,” she said, snapping her fingers. “Hey, are you listening to me?”
“Yeah, Leela,” he said absently. “I’m sorry. I’ll try and be more careful from now on.”
“Fry, I’m trying to apologize to you for how I acted last night, and you’re the one saying you’re sorry? Are you even paying any attention to me?”
“What? Huh? Oh, sorry, Leela,” he repeated, his voice still sounding absent. “Apology accepted. Just don’t do it again, or whatever. I’m sorry if I’m not paying my usual full attention to you right now, but I’ve got a really wicked hangover and I’m trying to figure out how I ended up on that beach.”
“Well,” seeing an in to getting back fully into his good graces, she said, “where did you go after you left?”
“I remember being mad at you and being hungry, and mad at you for my still being hungry, but other than that, I got nothing.”
“Nothing else,” she asked, feeling bad that his blackout and whatever had happed to him last night was her fault.
“There are flashes of syrup and something smelling like wet fur, but other than that, nothing.”
“Syrup and wet fur,” she said, her anger starting to rise. She was quiet for a few seconds, feigning deep thought while she squashed her jealousy about the cow from the bar last night and what might have happened between her and Fry. That Fry might not have been a willing participant never entered her head. “Well, do you remember what you had to eat,” she said, in a very measured voice.
“Waffles,” he said suddenly, his face lighting up. “I had waffles. That must be why I didn’t want them for breakfast.”
Still angry, and still hiding it well, Leela asked, “Where did you have them?”
He just shrugged his shoulders. When Leela glared at him, he said, “What do you want, Leela? It was dark, I was hungry, and the waffles smelled good.”
“It was probably Waffle King,” the waitress said as she stopped by and refilled their coffee. Before Leela could ask her, she said, “I couldn’t help but overhear. I mean, you two are the only customers we have right now. It’s not like I have anything better to do right now than stare.”
Leela looked around, and saw that, indeed, there was no one else in the restaurant. Looking back at the woman she said, “What makes you think it’s this Waffle King place?”
“For one, it’s the only place in the district where you can get waffles at night. And, from the hangover and blackout your friend described, it sounds like the right place.”
Fry said, “I did blackout and I did describe it.”
“They don’t use conventional means to make their syrups,” she continued, ignoring Fry and looking at Leela. “And none of them are, shall we say, safe to eat on an empty stomach.”
“They put alcohol into them?”
“The higher the proof, the better their syrups taste. I’ve been there twice since I lived on this planet, and I didn’t make it back to my own bed either time. The first time, I ended up sleeping in a bird’s nest high up in a Cambylictus tree. The second time, I woke up in the basement of some restaurant getting turned into stew for some cooking contest. The chef said he thought I was dead, and that Neptunian Surprise would go over great at whatever contest he was going to be cooking in.”
Looking at her, Leela said, “You’re not Neptunian.”
“Yeah, I tried to tell him that, too, but he said all of us squishy beings looked alike to him. Do you need anything else,” she said, touching Leela’s hand, and again, completely ignoring Fry. “Anything else that I can do… for you? Anything at all?”
A little creeped out, Leela pulled her hand back and said, “Just the check, please. Thanks.”
The Heliodoran stared at Leela. When she saw Leela sitting stiffly, she walked away in a huff to get their bill.
“Well that was odd,” Fry said. “What now?”
“Now we go to Waffle King and see what happened to you last night.”
“What about Amy?”
“Meh,” Leela replied. “She’s a big girl. She can handle herself.”
When the waitress brought them the check, she handed it to Leela. Looking down at it, Leela saw that there was no charge for her meal, and the woman had written her phone number on the bill. When Leela looked back at her, he hand was up by her ear and she mouthed ‘call me’ before licking her lips.
Leela’s eye went wide and she threw a bunch of money down onto the table and dragged Fry out by the hand. “Let’s go, dear,” she said, loudly.
They wandered through town, looking for the Waffle King. After half an hour of searching the same block three times, Leela stopped a local and asked where it was.
“Lady, you must be some kind of hard core drunk or some kind of human replica robot if you’re looking for the King at this hour.”
“Just where is it,” she asked again.
“Lady, the King is everywhere. The King surrounds us all, and opens when and where it’s needed, the King-.”
Leela grabbed him by the throat. “Last time. Where’s the Waffle King?”
“Over there,” he croaked, his eyes full of fear. “In that blue building.”
Letting go of his throat, Leela said, “There. That wasn’t too hard, was it?” The man just ran. He was halfway down the block when she turned to Fry and said, “Let’s go see if anyone knows anything.”
She pounded on the door that the man had indicated, but there was no answer. After five more minutes of pounding, a large black skinned rock man popped his head out. “What you want, squishy?”
“I want into the Waffle King. I’ve got questions and I want answers.”
The rock man laughed, sounding like a rockslide. “King don’t open ‘til dark,” he said. “Come back tonight. Right now, you just buggin’ me. You no wanna bug me, squishy.”
“Leela,” Fry said, pulling her away by the arm, let’s just go. “We can keep looking for Amy.”
“I suppose you’re right,” she said.
“So,” Fry said after they wandered a little bit, “where do we start?”
“I have no idea,” she replied.
The wandered downtown for another hour before Fry said, “This is getting us nowhere.”
“Yeah, I know,” Leela said. She was hot, tired, and more than a little irritated.
“Wanna go to the beach and race jet skis or something?”
“Fry, what about Amy? Didn’t you just say we should go look for her?”
“Yeah, but look at what we’ve got here, Leela,” he said, holding up his hand to tick off his points, “I’m drawing a blank from last night and the place I was doesn’t open until nightfall; the only place that we suspect Amy to have been is closed for remodeling; and we’re on a free vacation in paradise, and Zoidberg is nowhere to be seen.”
Leela thought it over for a few minutes before she said, “Oh, what the Hell. We can’t do anything about anything else until tonight, anyways. Let’s head back to the hotel to change.”
Not for the first time in her life, Amy Wong woke up completely naked and tied to a chair. But the previous night had been much less pleasurable than when this usually happened. But, like those other times, she had a ravenous hunger for food. And then she remembered why she was here (even if she didn’t know where ‘here’ was), and she started to lose her appetite.
Looking around, she appeared to be in some sort of dungeon, which, again, was nothing new for her. It was dark, but she could hear, and smell, other people in here.
“Hello,” she called out carefully, not knowing what the response would be. “Is anyone there?”
There were some various chitter and other noises that might be speech, but only one voice that replied in Earthican. “Great,” the male sounding voice said, filled with sarcasm. It had an odd accent that she couldn’t place, but it sounded Australian. “A human.”
“Oh thank Gilgamesh,” Amy said, too relieved to hear a human-sounding voice to actually notice its tone. “Another human. Do you know where we are?”
“Hey,” the voice replied indignantly, “First off, I ain’t no human, ya stupid hairless ape. And I ain’t got no idea where we’re at, either.”
“Are ya deaf of just stupid? I told ya I ain’t no stinkin’ human. I’m a Humma, alright?”
“No offence, but I’ve never heard of a ‘humma’ before.”
“No wonder ya humans are called Homo Sapiens. You’re all the same. ‘Oh,’ he said, mocking her speech, ‘we’re humans. We’re the most important species in the Universe. Oh, look at that kangaroo man. I’ve never seen one of those before, so he must not be as important as us humans.’ The lot of you make me sick. Of course ya haven’t heard of us. We prefer to stay away from you ignorant apes. Ya can’t take us keeping it real, and we don’t like the way ya smell.”
“Well that’s nice,” she said. Changing the subject, she said, “Why are we here?”
“Are you really that stupid,” he said, but was cut off by the door slamming open.
Through the open door came a blinding white light, filling the room, “You’re here,” a male sounding voice boomed, “to participate in the monthly King of the Chefs tournament. You will each eat whatever dishes your chef puts in front of you!”
She squinted her eyes shut against the glare and responded, “I know that,” she said, “but why are we here now? I thought that was supposed to be later.”
“It is later, pitiful little human,” the voice boomed back at her. “It’s time for the eight of you to begin your journey to food nirvana and bring your chef to gastronomic glory. Or die trying.”
“Die trying,” she whispered, swallowing hard.
Leela struggled to stay inside the small air speeder that they rented while Fry wove them between all of the boats and other water craft. And not for the first time that day, she was glad she chose the one-piece instead of the bikini, because with the way that Fry was flying, she would have lost her top three barrel rolls ago. She wasn’t sure why she let him drive in the first place. Maybe it was because she was still trying to make it up to him for last night. Maybe it was, just for once, she liked letting him take charge with something.
Their relationship, such that it was, was dominated by her. After they returned to Earth, she was the one who decided that their dying declaration of love for each other prior to plunging into the wormhole might have been taking things too far, too fast. She was the one that decided when and where they would go out. She was the one that determined how far their affection toward each other would go. And, after going to Doohan 6 to release Mr. Peppy, she was the one that nearly killed whatever relationship they had by calling Fry her ‘platonic friend.’ Not that McZongo turned out to be a prize catch, but that wasn’t the point. Fry had taken it hard, but until last night, he hadn’t said anything. But last night, he delivered his message to her loud and clear. Which, led her back to the present, hanging on for dear life as Fry flew them all over creation.
“Slow down,” Fry, she shouted, checking her seatbelt for at least the seventh or eighth time since they left the port. “You’re going to get us killed.”
“Relax, Leela. I’ve got everything perfectly under controlllllllll,” he said as came around a yacht too fast and turned into a flat spin. “Help me, Leela! We’re out of control!” They spun out to sea for about half a mile before they were able to turn the control stick enough to straighten them out and bring them to a full stop.
They both looked at each other for a few seconds, Fry with a maniac grin and Leela angry beyond words, before they both turned away and threw up in the ocean. The turned back, but as soon as Leela opened her mouth to say anything, she turned back toward the side of the speeder and threw up again. Fry waited patiently until she finished, and when she finally turned back, he said, “Well, that was fun. Wanna do it again?”
“You, you, you,” she sputtered, before finally shouting, “IDIOT! You could have gotten us killed! Do you realize how unbelievably stupid that was? How monumentally irresponsibly you were driving?”
“I know, I know,” he said, almost meekly. “I just wanted to have fun, Leela. Nothing on this trip has been fun for me. We spent the day together yesterday, but we spent it with Zoidberg. Zoidberg!”
“That was your fault,” she said. “You could have left him alone, and we all would have been happier.”
“Oh, this is just like you,” he said. “I try and do something nice for someone, and you’re all like, ‘Fry, don’t plug in Amy’s hair dryer and bring it into the shower for her.’ ‘Fry, don’t offer the nice DOOP Customs Officer any of Hermes’ special brownies.’ ‘Fry, stop telling the space pirates your ATM code.’ You’re always like this, Leela.”
“I do it for you own damn good,” she shouted. “You’re always doing stupid stuff like this, and I always end up having save you from yourself!”
“If I’m such a burden on your life, why do you keep doing it? Why do you keep risking your neck to save me from myself?”
“Because I love you, damn it!” Then, in a whisper, she added, “And I have for a long time.”